Central Referral Unit

CSBH was re-organized in 2016 to resume the responsibility of processing all congregate care and community-based service referrals through the newly developed Central Referral Unit (CRU). In 2016, DCYF developed an extensive RFP (Request for Proposal) for solicitation for innovative, new services, including congregate care and home and community-based services.

DCYF secured new service contracts for 122 services with over 35 provider agencies working with our children’s behavioral health population. Thirty-four of the service contracts are for community-based services, which more than doubles the number of community based services available preciously from 16 to 34. As part of the 34 community-based services, 11 are evidence-based programs and two are promising practices.

Service Provider Guide

DCYF has developed a DCYF Service Provider Guide that is organized into four categories of service: home-based services, specialized foster care, residential group care services and independent living programs funded by DCYF. This guide has been developed to assist in the identification and understanding of the resources available for children and families served by DCYF by providing descriptions of the different services as well as best fit criteria, exclusionary criteria, and other relevant factors that would be helpful when considering services for children and families. You may access this guide here:

Service Provider Guide – 2023 Update

Congregate Care and Home-Based Referral Units

Within the Central Referral Unit, staff facilitate referrals for DCYF funded congregate care and home-based services based upon identified child and family needs.

The congregate care unit matches children to the most appropriate group home or residential program to address presenting behavioral health or cognitive needs and works with DCYF staff and private providers to support placement into programs. Children may be placed into a congregate care setting only when needed for treatment and no option exists for placement with a family.

The home-based service unit manages referrals to a broad range of child and family focused services to support children with behavioral health needs or who may have an intellectual disability. These services are targeted at supporting children in family settings and preventing out-of-home care or psychiatric hospitalization. Referrals may be made for children formally involved with the department or the family court or referrals may be made for families involved with a Family Care Community Partnership (FCCP) who are not open to the department.

Early Childhood Initiatives

RI DCYF has been developing an integrated system of care to meet the needs of young children birth to 5 years old in the child welfare system. These efforts have focused on three primary areas: developmental screening and evaluation for children identified as victims of abuse/neglect, referral to federally funded MIECHV (Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting) Family Visiting programs and promotion/ access to high quality early care and education programs.

As part of RI DCYF’s overall early childhood system of care development, DCYF received a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan in September 2017 titled “Rhode Island Child Welfare-Getting to Kindergarten Initiative.” The focus of this proposal is to build on and expand the DCYF’s capacity to focus on the developmental and social emotional well-being of young children in the child welfare system.

Family Care Community Partnership program (FCCP)

The Family Care Community Partnership program (FCCP) serves as a prevention and/or diversionary program for children not open to DCYF. The FCCPs provide family stabilization and wraparound support. Referrals may come from DCYF Child Protective Services (CPS) for cases that will not continue to be open to DCYF or families or community organizations may refer to an FCCP without any DCYF involvement.

DCYF is currently implementing a process by which the FCCPs may refer a family for DCYF-funded home-based services without the family needing to be open to the department. In addition, DCYF funds a family support organization that provides information, peer support and mentors to children and families at risk for mental, emotional and behavioral disorders and those children already diagnosed who are not open to DCYF.

Learn more about FCCP’s